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LNW-Soft optimization SAP infrastructure [shutterstock: 157952597, Bloomicon]
[shutterstock: 157952597, Bloomicon]
Blog Digital Transformation

Optimizing Infrastructure Pushes SAP To The Limit

How does a small company in Erding, Germany fit into the big picture of global digitalization in the 21st century? Perfectly, of course!

Through perseverance, entrepreneurial courage and a drive for perfection, LNW-Soft GmbH has earned a glowing reputation in the SAP community. In infrastructure and automation, LNW-Soft counts as a hidden champion. Whether in the automotive industry, the public sector, or a security context – LNW-Soft’s software toolbox combined with its expertise is highly sought after in every industry. A smart partner model and a strong SAP community in the hybrid cloud area are the foundation for the company’s unique success in the D/A/CH region.

If you want to build the highest building in the world, you’ll soon reach physical limits. With every new day of learning and experience, those limits will shift, allowing your building to rise higher and higher. This gain in experience is to be expected and has to be planned for in the initial stages. Without a strong foundation, your ambitious plans will fail. The digitalization of the global economy and society is such a vital plan, and SAP’s standard enterprise software plays an important role. Urbanization, smart data, hyperconnectivity – LNW-Soft’s foundation supports major companies in their digitalization efforts. “We control and orchestrate the technological platform of SAP systems on premises as well as in the cloud”, says Raphael Schiller, Principal SAP Technology Consultant and key figure at LNW-Soft.

As a global leader, the company leverages its experience as well as its software to push the performance and efficiency of IT infrastructures to the limits of a stable and secure SAP operation – completely automatedly! The technological foundation always remains the same: provide infrastructure, automate necessary routines, then optimize.

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Today’s CIOs are facing a lot of challenges: they need to deliver faster, improve quality, and reduce costs despite of an ongoing shortage of experts. These challenges often culminate in a shift in focus to automation. “This trend has been accelerated over the past few years”, explains Raphael Schiller.

In combination with many companies shifting to SAP S/4HANA, which requires a completely new technological infrastructure, and the industrialization of public cloud offers, IT departments are trying to alleviate the pressure they face on a day-to-day basis. The automation of technological routines on the infrastructure level also provides satisfying measures for IT departments’ KPIs. It’s not rare to see ROI after just five months. These are facts.

“It makes a huge difference if companies manually implement their new system in two weeks or automatedly in the span of a single day,” adds SAP expert Schiller.

Strong KPIs: ROI after five months

Considering these facts, automation projects are high priority and go hand in hand with upcoming investments in new software generations like SAP S/4HANA. SAP HANA needs a testing system, a digital twin or a clone to test and calibrate the systems. This requires a completely new hardware. LNW-Soft is a trusted advisor for companies looking to overcome this technological challenge. Its partner model is based on connectivity and cooperation. “Cloud computing on its own doesn’t do much. Access to the cloud doesn’t guarantee that the guidelines of operating systems are adhered to,” says Torsten Gwosch, account manager at LNW-Soft.

Sought-after reputation as trusted cloud adviser

Major companies usually work with one or two strategic cloud providers. The client can choose which partner will support them in their automation efforts. LNW enjoys a strategic partnership with Microsoft Azure, as Microsoft is seen as the leading cloud provider for the SAP community in the D/A/CH region. “However, this doesn’t mean that we won’t work with Google Cloud, AWS, or iNNOVO Cloud – on the contrary! As trusted advisor, we consider all alternatives. This is what customers expect of us, and this is what we will deliver,” says Gwosch. His role at LNW-Soft provides him with a unique insight into the challenges and requirements of the market.

Without profound expertise, the optimization of SAP system landscapes is impossible. This is LNW-Soft’s advantage, supported by its Proactive Management Suite and the new solution Cloud Bridge. Over 13 years, in-house consultants plus a taskforce of freelance staff have earned a glowing reputation and gleaned extensive know-how they willingly impart on customers during projects. “We have high standards for ourselves and our experts. They have to know their way around SAP systems, that’s the foundation, but they also have to be intricately familiar with the infrastructure. If SAP operations and processes are to be automated, this knowledge is crucial, ranging from hardware to a customer’s applications. Holistic thinking comprises infrastructure, storage, network, operating system, and the application.”

The standardization and orchestration of processes, data and products is the foundation for agility and business success. Automation guarantees stability in operations and optimizes technological routines. This is the core business for consultants like Joerg Engelhardt. He is familiar with challenges and misunderstandings in this area. “The circumstances at the client company have to be right. You cannot automate without standardization.”

This is a learning curve that customers have to accept. It is quite common for consultants to realize that the standardization of a customer’s IT landscape is not mature enough for successful automation projects. Consequently, they advise on an upstream infrastructure and architecture project to subsequently support the new business concept. “We help customers in creating the concept for this standardization, but our partners take care of the actual implementation; depending on a customer company’s size, we might support them,” adds Raphael Schiller.

LNW-Soft integral part of SAP community

Through a strong partner model of different service providers and suppliers as well as the smart focus on the SAP community in the hybrid cloud area, LNW-Soft has created a unique ‘Information Sharing’ that customers benefit from. All parties involved make it a point to exchange ideas and encourage each other. As in every beneficial partnership, they also quarrel about details sometimes, but they never lose respect for each other’s entrepreneurial achievements.

Competition with the customer as the focus makes for a strong ecosystem in the SAP infrastructure area. For example, NetApp’s storage solutions are ideally suited for automation projects. Fujitsu has enhanced its own hardware by adding LNW software. From a customer’s perspective, the individual partners, including their services and products, complement and complete each other like a Lego building set. “We are proud of our open and fair ecosystem that differentiates this community from consulting firms – and it’s working perfectly!” explains Raphael Schiller.

Consequently, customers know that LNW-Soft and partners act professionally and as a team, making product finalization in time and in budget not a flimsy promise, but a guarantee.

Proactive Management Suite: Benchmark in server shutdowns

In an emergency, downtimes last no longer than four minutes with LNW-Soft! A planned server shutdown in a global SAP ERP system of an automotive company with 26,000 employees served as a test. The Proactive Management Suite persevered and delivered. No user was logged out of the system, no alarm lead to the shutdown of operational systems. After less than four minutes, this extreme simulation under real-time conditions was over. Project status: green. Number of critical data sets lost: zero. Only a few days later, there was a real, unplanned outage in the company’s datacenter. It only took 3 minutes and 20 seconds for the systems to be 100 percent stabilized again. “No one even noticed the shutdown at the time, but of course we took the time to document and analyze it with the customer,” says Torsten Gwosch.

Outages are no problem for LNW-Soft and the Proactive Management Suite. The solution is in high demand for these use cases, whether it is because of regulatory reasons or out of fear of the natural enemy of datacenters: excavators. “We offer customers an emergency datacenter out of the cloud. This brings ease of mind to CIOs as they know that their companies are secure,” adds Raphael Schiller.

With this solution, the position of LNW-Soft in the market is unique. “There are two or three competitors in the same area, but they only focus on their own workflow engine instead of the content. We are able to take our customers’ specific criteria into account in our software. We do not know of any other company who can say the same,” says founder and CEO of LNW-Soft, Lénárd Buday. LNW-Soft can reduce the time it takes to provide infrastructure to zero.

For comparison, the implementation of an SAP system usually requires two weeks of planning, four weeks until the servers arrive, and another two weeks until they are up and running, amounting to a total of eight weeks. “With our software, combined with Microsoft Azure, the implementation of the infrastructure only takes half a day!” adds Lénárd Buday. This is something that every CFO can get behind.

Source:
E-3 Magazine June 2020 (German)

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